fourpoints Magazine

The #1 Resource for Everything Miss America & MAOTeen

Former Miss America Kirsten Haglund continues to spread her message of health and wellness to women struggling with eating disorders. The 2008 queen and former ballerina struggled with anorexia nervosa, but thanks to an interdisciplinary team, self confidence and MAO, she is proof that beauty comes from within.

During her time as Miss Oakland County and as a college freshman, Kirsten started to speak out against eating disorders, and took the cause to the state competition where she won the title as Miss Michigan when she was just 18 years old. The crown gave her a broader scale on which to deliver her message. She spent six months attending national conferences on eating disorders.

"I learned so much about the illness; it was a really good educational period for me," she said. "From hearing other people's recovery stories, I learned how to share my own personal struggles," Kirsten said.

Before the Miss America competition, Kirsten stuck to a healthy diet and a schedule of regular exercise that brought her back up to normal levels of nutrition. Although the thought of being in a bathing suit in front of so many people made her a little nervous, she channeled her thoughts toward health.

Kirsten won the national title that year, and now post-crown, she continues to work toward helping men and woman who struggle with eating disorders. The Kirsten Haglund Foundation provides financial aid to those seeking treatment for eating disorders. 

Source: CNN Health

Published in Headline News
Thursday, 28 July 2011 11:18

5 Minutes with Kirsten Haglund

Miss America Kirsten Haglund first won our hearts as Miss America 2008. Today, she is active with the Kirsten Haglund Foundation, a group dedicated to helping men and women with eat disorders find treatment. She is a regular guest on programs such as The Sean Hannity on FOX. Recently, Kirsten was a coach on the program Made on MTV. We sat down with Kirsten to talk about that experience.

    Q: In terms of your experience on MADE, how did that come about? Did MTV approach you?
    A: MTV approached me - emailed me, actually, in about September of last year, asking me if I was interested in being a coach for an episode.  One weekend, when I was in New York for Hannity on Fox, I stopped by their offices in the City, and they put me on tape for an interview.  A few weeks later, they called me back and said they indeed wanted to use me as a Coach.  It took several months to work together with the Producers to find a 'story' that I would be best suited for, and filming dates that worked with my school schedule.  Finally, in April, I was able to begin shooting outside Atlanta with a group (a MADE first!) of 5 girls, all competing for the title of Miss Redan High School.

    Q: Was it a tough decision for you to appear on the program?
     A: I was wary of MTV, at first.  Especially having been involved in two reality TV series as a Miss America contestant, and then as Miss America. I'd seen the good, bad, and ugly of reality television.  However, I did my research.  I watched episodes of MADE and got a feel for the direction and message of the show, which was very positive. My conversations with producers also helped me to feel confident that the show was compatible with my values.  I understood that it would be a significant time commitment, but also that I would have a great opportunity to impact not only the young women I was working with, but all the ones who were watching, in a positive way.

    Q: What was it like being a coach?
     A: Honestly, one of the most challenging things was helping the girls to understand the tension that exists between confidence and vulnerability - which is so attractive onstage.  The confidence to own who you are on that stage, sell it - but be real enough, authentic enough, open enough to not appear fake.  It’s hard to convince the girl to go there, because there is the risk of rejection, the risk that they'll open up and give it their all and they won't win.  At the end of the show, however, I think the girls really embraced the process and what they learned along the journey, rather than the end result.  I tried to make the training process about exploring individuality, personal growth, and leadership skills, rather than just how to smile or talk onstage. Although our “walk” practices were some of the most fun I've had ever!  And making them try to walk the “runway” after riding on those roller coasters-- hilarious.

     Q: Was it difficult to push your students in order to help them succeed?
     A: Yes, it was very difficult.  The girls were very busy high school girls, with a lot of distractions - boys, cell phones, Facebook, band practice, homework, college applications, etc.  It really takes a disciplined, organized young woman to be able to succeed at something like a pageant, which requires a lot of time commitment.  You really see that, often, it is not the most talented or charming woman that wins the competition; it is the one who manages her time and priorities most responsibly in order to give her the greatest chance to work to see her goals through.

     Q: Overall, what are your thoughts about the program now that you have been on it?
     A: I've gotten a ton of positive response from the show via email, Facebook, twitter, etc. I'm so glad that so many people have seen the show and are relating with Kiona, Shandela, Chazmyn (and her relationship with her mom) and the other young ladies. That is what I wanted.  I also am so thrilled that in the end, Kiona won the competition, which was not fixed. So many people have asked me that.  I found out the winner with the rest of the audience.  She has an incredible, moving, personal story, and I think she will be an awesome role model for the young women of Redan High School - a living example of how you don't have to be the prettiest, skinniest, most popular girl in order to set a goal and work hard to achieve it.  Success is not reliant upon looks alone, and Kiona proved that.  I think she lights the way for other girls at her school who may have previously been too afraid, too insecure, too “uncool” to lead.  I'm proud to have been a small part of motivating Kiona to realize the strong, fierce, and kind woman that was inside of her, waiting to bloom.

Published in Exclusive Web Content
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 11:45

My Dream Judges Panel

Posted Monday, November 01, 2010

Well, faithful readers. It is less than 90 days until the Miss America pageant, where we will welcome another young women into this incredibly sorority.

We've already learned about our awesome host and co-host - but I can't be the ONLY one who is curious about who will judge the pageant. For the last couple of weeks, I have been setting up polls on the main page of our Web site about who should judge each area of competition.

I thought it might be fun for me to dream up the perfect panel (to me) and then see what you guys had to say about it!

So, without further ado:

Tim Gunn - I think Tim Gunn has such a keen sense of style and what it means to be modern without sacrificing classic concepts. I would love love love to see his take on the evening gown competition and also what the contestants choose to wear for the interview portion of competition.

Kirsten Haglund - It's no secret that I think Kirsten Haglund is just about the neatest thing since sliced bread. I think she has been out in the world long enough since giving up her crown to be a good judge of a modern contestant, and she was also Miss America recently enough that she understands what the job entails in the here and now. Beyond that, Kirsten is deeply involved with her charitable organization, the Kirsten Haglund Foundation.

Jillian Michaels I don't care what anyone says, I'm not sure there is a woman in the world who knows more about fitness and health than Jillian.

Diane Saywer - She is part of the ABC family and has made a career out of engaging interviews. I would love to see how she approached the interview portion of the competition and I think she would have really compelling questions.

Jimmy Kimmel - He is also part of the ABC family and while he may not have the most "serious" persona, I think he'd be a good judge. He knows a lot about the entertainment industry and I think if he DID judge the pageant, it would draw a lot of viewers.

Celine Dion - She would be a great judge for the talent portion of the competition. She is SO Las Vegas, for one, and of course her personal talent alone is staggering.

So! That's my fantasy panel - what's yours?

Published in Pageant Blog